Thursday, May 27, 2021

The last time he sucked his thumb, maybe

Last night was the last time Ben sucked his thumb. Or maybe I'm wrong and it wasn't, though it could be. It's a habit he's had since he was a baby. Several months ago, it stopped. He used to love to suck his thumb, snuggle on the couch with me or Dave and get foot rubs. Now he just gets the foot rubs. 

I was sad when I realized that he'd stopped, and ebullient when he slipped his thumb into his mouth as I was reading to him at bedtime last night. I snapped this pic and showed it to Dave after he'd fallen asleep.

I've loved the thumb sucking because he looks adorable when he does it, and because it's the last vestige of his babyhood. Having two older children has made me seriously aware of how quickly time passes.

Parents are acutely aware of the milestones in our children's lives and, if you're the parent of a child with disabilities, the inchstones, too. But then, there are the little life passages you only realize in hindsight.

When was the last time I picked up Max and Sabrina? I've wondered.  

When was the last time I held them on my lap after a bath, wrapped in a towel? They were especially delicious after baths.

When was the last time I did floor time with them?  

When was the last time Max wore that Lightning McQueen getup he loved?

When was the last time Sabrina wore that Ariel mermaid outfit?

What was the last aquatic swim session I took Max to? 

When was the last time we took them for a ride on a merry-go-round?

When was the last time they sat at our kitchen table and colored?

When was the last time Sabrina told me one of her nonsensical knock-knock jokes

When was the last time they watched Sesame Street? 

When was the last time they both fell asleep in our bed? 

And so on and so on. Those childhood routines, habits and behaviors slip away unnoticed, along with the sweetness and snuggles. Unless you've had children a chunk of years apart. And now you find yourself relishing having a young child again, and getting overly excited when he once again sucks his thumb.


  1. Oh my! My kids are now 18, 20 and 22. There have been so many I can't even remember. With Luke he is at the stage where I'm getting to do "the first time he …" Most recently (1 1/2 weeks ago to be exact) he waved good-by as he left to get the school bus at the end of our drive. He hasn't done it since, but I know he will again.

  2. I think your post beautifully captures one of the bittersweet experiences of parenting: watching our kids grow, while saying goodbye to the childhood routines and quirks (and innocence) that we do love.

    In the past month, our son is able to fall asleep without us sitting with him. It’s great to have that extra hour at night now but also made me realize, another step towards him “growing up.”


Thanks for sharing!

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